There are plenty of little steps that people can take at home to help save the environment. While the eco-footprint of each step is small, thousands of people doing the same thing can make a difference. In making some small changes to the way that you do things at home, you are gradually making a difference, even as an individual. Expert Source Expert Interview. 22 September 2020. We’ve put together a few tips, tricks, and ideas to help you get started!
Turn off the lights.
6 2 COMING SOON 1. Always switch off the lights when you are not using them. Rooms that are lit with nobody in them are wasteful.
Switch to compound fluorescent light bulbs.
8 3 COMING SOON 1. These bulbs last longer and consume one-quarter of the energy. Lately, LED lamps have started to pick up the pace too — they are up to 10 times as effective as fluorescent, and totally blow incandescent bulbs off the charts.
Power down your TV when you are not using it.
4 6 COMING SOON 1. Believe it or not, up to 30% of power used by TVs is used while they are turned off. Simply buy power strips and switch them off when you’re not using them. They use far less energy while turned off.
Turn off the computer every day.
3 1 COMING SOON 1. Even if it feels like it is not making much of a difference, it is. You also reduce any risks of overheating or short-circuiting by turning computers off overnight. Trustworthy Source Official site for the U.S. Department of Energy, which provides resources related to energy safety, conservation, and efficiency
Lower the thermostat in the winter.
2 6 COMING SOON 1. A few degrees can make a big difference. Plus, an extra layer or blanket will not only keep you cozy but will help to reduce your electricity bill significantly.
Regulate your home’s temperature with your windows.
3 6 COMING SOON 1. Keep windows and doors closed properly to avoid the loss of heat in winter. Also, open the windows in summer. The cross breeze will often keep you cool and flushes out stale air (indoor air is often more highly polluted than the air outside). Importantly, the use of fresh air to cycle through your home saves the cost of running an air conditioner.
Pair ceiling fans with AC units.
3 8 COMING SOON 1. Using just air conditioning units can be inefficient. However, pairing fans and air conditioning will significantly increase the effectiveness of your temperature control. The fans will circulate the warmed or cooled air generated by the air conditioning unit.
Fill in any gaps around your home.
2 4 COMING SOON 1. Gaps reduce energy efficiency in a home. By caulking gaps around windows and doors, you increase the ability of your house to retain heat and cool at the right times of year, allowing your heating and cooling systems to work less.
Insulate your home.
1 9 COMING SOON 1. Insulation keeps the heat and cool on the correct side of your living space. Consider not only the ceiling but also the walls and under the floors.
Install low-flush toilets in your home.
1 6 COMING SOON 1. These use 1.6 gallons (6.1 L) per flush instead of 3.5 gallons (13.2 L). This cuts your water consumption by more than half.
Take showers instead of baths.
1 3 COMING SOON 1. Showers use less water. While you’re at it, don’t forget to install an efficient showerhead.
Wash full loads of laundry with cold water.
1 9 COMING SOON 1. Instead of using hot water all the time, use cold water. In fact, use cold water at any available opportunity. It saves a ton of energy.
- When you can, choose phosphate-free soaps and detergents.
Air-dry your clothes when you can.
1 9 COMING SOON 1. On sunny days, use a clothes line instead of a clothes dryer. Your clothes will smell fresher and the sun’s rays ensure that germs are successfully sizzled.
Stick your dishes directly in the dishwasher.
1 9 COMING SOON 1. Avoid rinsing before using the dishwasher. If you skip rinsing your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, you can save gallons of water. You can also save both the time it takes for the water to heat up as well as the energy it consumes.
Air-dry your dishes.
1 10 COMING SOON 1. Stop the dishwasher before the dryer cycle commences. Leave the door slightly ajar (or more open if you have the space) and let the dishes air-dry. The drying cycle of the dishwasher consumes a lot of energy.
Update your refrigerator.
1 9 COMING SOON 1. Fridges are the most energy intensive appliance in a house. This means that a poorly maintained and energy inefficient fridge is costing you money, let alone adding its burden to the atmosphere. Recent fridges use 40% less energy than fridges of 10 years ago. If you do decide to upgrade the fridge, make sure that you buy for its excellent energy rating, longevity and durability and that you have the old fridge recycled.
Recycle when you can.
1 2 COMING SOON 1. Some cities already require people to sort their trash into paper, metals, glass, and organic waste. Expert Source Expert Interview. 22 September 2020. Even if your city doesn’t, you can launch a growing trend. Set up four separate waste baskets, and make sure the contents end up in the appropriate recycle bins.
Ditch disposable products.
1 9 COMING SOON 1. Stay away from disposable plates, cups, napkins and cutlery. Use reusable towels and dishwashing cloths in place of paper towels and disposable dish sponges.
- For instance, you could switch out one-use tampons and pads for reusable alternatives, like menstrual cups.
1 4 COMING SOON 1. Compost the kitchen scraps and create garden matter to encourage better plant growth. Make sure the heap is warm and well-turned. If you need to, read a few books about composting—it’s rare to find someone highly skilled in the area! Remember, soil is a living thing, it should not be powdery and dead. Life comes from the soil, and therefore the soil should be kept alive. Avoid highly invasive tilling if at all possible, but be sure to keep the soil aerated.
Throw out hazardous items carefully.
0 3 COMING SOON 1. Old paints, oils, pesticides etc. should not be tipped down the drain. Unfortunately, the residues end up in our waterways. Instead, dispose of these items through municipal disposal schemes or use the landfill option if there is no other choice.
Save paper in your home office.
1 7 COMING SOON 1. Use recycled paper in your home office and printer. When you can, double side your printing and give scrap paper to the kids or turn it into note paper for the phone table.
0 3 COMING SOON 1. Plant trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and provide shade. Also, it reduces the soil and air temperature. They provide homes for wildlife and some trees can provide you with a bountiful harvest. What more incentive do you need?!
Reduce your lawn.
0 1 COMING SOON 1. Either reduce your lawn size or remove it altogether. Lawns are costly to maintain, the chemicals used on lawns are dangerous to our health and to that of the surrounding wildlife and lawnmowers emit high levels of pollution. Replace lawns with shrubs, ornamental garden structures, pavers for entertainment areas, native grasses and ground creepers etc. In addition, what’s better than being able to step outside and pick a few strawberries or an ear of corn? Increase your own resilience by converting wasted lawn space into a vegetable garden.
- Consider using drip-irrigation systems or constructing or purchasing a rain barrel (it saves you having to pay to pump water back into the ground).
Grow native plants in your garden.
0 10 COMING SOON 1. They need less watering, and are hardier. Plus, they attract the local wildlife and are used to the local weather conditions.
Maintain your bike.
0 2 COMING SOON 1. Eliminate the excuse that you cannot use your bike because it is in bad shape. Keep it in good condition and then use it to keep yourself in shape.
Switch to a fuel-efficient car.
0 5 COMING SOON 1. Choose a compact car over an SUV. SUVs burn almost twice the amount of gas as a station wagon and yet can still carry around the same amount of passengers.
- If you’re really serious about going all-out green, consider living without a car — not only it’s green, but could also save you a lot of money!
Drive your car less.
1 1 COMING SOON 1. This way, your car contributes less to the atmosphere. When you can, walk to your local stores, take public transport to work and cycle to your friends’ houses for dinner. Join a carpool and ferry others to work rather than driving in alone. You’ll make new friends and you’ll all share the costs.